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Old 11-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #21
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But 10 days before their deadline, members of the so-called congressional "super committee" created to forge a deficit reduction deal indicated Sunday that they remain hung up on basic issues of tax and entitlement reform that have previously stymied agreement.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:17 PM   #22
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Just so it's not a naked link,
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Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the panel's Republican co-chair, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the only solution possible might be a two-step process in which the bipartisan committee sets a figure for increased tax revenue that congressional committees would then implement through legislation.
It is probably better that they get hung up on basic issues. I'd hate to think they could agree on the basic stuff but then trip over minor details.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:39 AM   #23
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Just so it's not a naked link.
And what's wrong with naked?

And, please, no Kathy Bates hot tubs pics...

I was going to comment about the "silly season" being upon us, but these days the silly season never seems to end.

There haven't been that many "landslide" elections, and the populace is relatively evenly divided between so-called conservatives and liberals, so rather than one party or the other assuming they have some sort of blank-check mandate, why not find some sort of common/middle ground?

Which brings us back to the perpetual silly season...
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:34 PM   #24
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The situation is often phrased like this: "If they fail to agree, automatic across-the-board cuts that no one wants will be enacted."

Would these automatic cuts really be that bad?
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:39 PM   #25
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The situation is often phrased like this: "If they fail to agree, automatic across-the-board cuts that no one wants will be enacted."

Would these automatic cuts really be that bad?
Only to those protecting their "turf"...
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:53 PM   #26
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The situation is often phrased like this: "If they fail to agree, automatic across-the-board cuts that no one wants will be enacted."

Would these automatic cuts really be that bad?
To the defense contractors and health care providers, yes.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:40 AM   #27
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I agree with the overall pessimism stated by the others here.

What the folks in Congress have figured out is that not making a deal and blaming those in the other party is better for their re-election chances than making a deal those in their own party might not like and facing a primary from someone more extreme within their own party. Throw in redistricting which tends to makes districts less competitive for a general election (but more vulnerable to a primary challenge), and it makes the "deadlock and blame the other party" line more attractive.

In actual terms, a Republican, for example, might gain a few votes from moderates and independents in a general election if he broke the Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge, but that same Republican has greater fears of a primary challenge (and potential loss) from the Right if he breaks that pledge, thereby losing any chance to gain the votes of those same moderates and independents in the general election.

There is no Left equivalent to Norquist pledge, but that awful AARP ad airing a lot lately is surely a threat to wavering Democrats when it comes to cuts in entitlement programs.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:12 AM   #28
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Well, I read this AM that Gingrich received 1.6M in consulting fees from Freddy Mac. Since he did such a great job maybe we can get him to advise the Super Committee.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:17 PM   #29
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Lemme see if I've got this...

Congress passes a law that says that unless the supercommittee comes up with a grand solution that they approve of, that draconian cuts will be made which Congress is helpless to stop.

So, they're holding a gun to their own head and threatening to shoot?

(Caution: Blazing Saddles clip - may be offensive to some, but it definitely illustrates the point...)


I suppose that sums up what they think of us.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:31 PM   #30
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Well, I read this AM that Gingrich received 1.6M in consulting fees from Freddy Mac. Since he did such a great job maybe we can get him to advise the Super Committee.
Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer should join Gingrich on that committe, since they all have a lovesfest with Freddie and Fannie........
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:34 PM   #31
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Well, I read this AM that Gingrich received 1.6M in consulting fees from Freddy Mac. Since he did such a great job maybe we can get him to advise the Super Committee.
I guess it kinda depends on what he told them. He says he told them years ago they were headed for disaster.
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He said Freddie Mac officials told him "we are now making loans to people that have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that's what the government wants us to do." He said his advice was to tell them, "this is insane." "I said at the time, this is a bubble ... this is impossible. It turned out unfortunately I was right," Gingrich said.
Former Freddie Mac executives dispute Gingrich's description of his role.
Four people close to Freddie Mac say he was hired to strategize with his employer about identifying political friends on Capitol Hill who would help the company through a very difficult legislative environment. All four people spoke on condition of anonymity to be able to discuss the personnel matter freely.
"All consultants who have never had a client disregard good advice, please raise your hand."
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:02 PM   #32
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I guess it kinda depends on what he told them. He says he told them years ago they were headed for disaster.
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"All consultants who have never had a client disregard good advice, please raise your hand."
Well, if the government had no plans on listening to Gingrich why did they hire him. This is just another example why Washington is broken. I'm voting for Donald Duck and that's that.

This is related to retirement because it effects our SS money which they are using at their whim to pay themselves off.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #33
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I'm voting for Donald Duck and that's that.
He's a quack.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:23 PM   #34
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He's a quack.
At least he can talk without a teleprompter.........
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:55 PM   #35
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[QUOTE=RHLnFLA;1130030]Should have had one party pick the other party's participants. Or at least one or two of the players from the other party. Maybe we would have ended up with a couple of moderates.

Now that is a REALLY good idea!
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:08 AM   #36
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I guess it kinda depends on what he told them. He says he told them years ago they were headed for disaster.
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"All consultants who have never had a client disregard good advice, please raise your hand."
Its hard to find a consultant who will tell a client other than what the client wants to hear, otherwise the chance for a future engagement goes down
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:02 AM   #37
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Its hard to find a consultant who will tell a client other than what the client wants to hear, otherwise the chance for a future engagement goes down
That's only a snappy misconception in my experience. My experience is that our clients want to hear our perspective/view, even if it is contrary to their thinking. The key is in the delivery. And at the end of the day we are only advisors and they can chose to do whatever they want to and that is fine with us.

It is much more important to protect the brand (the firm's reputation) than telling a client what they want to hear if we don't believe it to be true.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #38
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That's only a snappy misconception in my experience. My experience is that our clients want to hear our perspective/view, even if it is contrary to their thinking. The key is in the delivery. And at the end of the day we are only advisors and they can chose to do whatever they want to and that is fine with us.

It is much more important to protect the brand (the firm's reputation) than telling a client what they want to hear if we don't believe it to be true.
I agree... most of the consultants that I had to deal with did not say what management wanted to say...

However, most said what they had said to almost everybody else.... IOW, they would put their square peg in the companies round hole....
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:52 PM   #39
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I have also seen instances where consultants are brought in because top management doesn't believe what they are being told by their internal stakeholders, and then the internal stakeholders (provided they are knowledgeable) have to spend time educating the consultants and I don't mean that in the context of explaining what they do. In such cases, I have seen consultants regurgitate what the stakeholder were saying with a slightly different spin so that it sounds more creative and original. Consultants are only as smart as the brains they pick across their client base, and while some are good, many provide marginal value add while receiving rather exhorbitant fees.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:03 PM   #40
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. . . many provide marginal value add while receiving rather exhorbitant fees.
that are exactly what the market will bear. Just like employees. But they much easier to fire.

Anyway, all this talk about consultants in general misses the point of Gingrich's work for Fanny Mae. He apparently wasn't brought in to make the place run better, and they obviously disregarded any advice he gave them about the "wisdom" of accelerating their sub-prime business. He was apparently hired to help them make the case for more support from Congress by 1) showing that they had conservatives in their stable providing advice (whether or not they took it) and 2) helping them understand how best to lobby Congress for more support, especially among conservative members.

If we don't like the way taxpayer money is recycled to buy influence to prompt the commitment of yet more taxpayer money, maybe we should reconsider the whole idea of making government bigger and having it do more things. Reducing the size of the "bounty" will be far more effective than passing additional ineffective laws.
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